Al's Views, Personal Thoughts

Electronic Voting
Why We Should Be Concerned

27 October 2003

In this week's Incoming Intel Report (Click Here), the first piece dealt with Diebold's voting computer technology. According to the writer, electronic voting computer technology is flawed. Well, whether Diebold's technology/hardware is flawed or not is immaterial. What is of concern is the act of centralized voting, especially via a computer technology, anyone's technology, that is subject to software programming.

For example, if the software programmer has a conservative lean, he could very easily "stack the deck" against votes cast that would otherwise favor a liberal democrat, or visa versa. This is only my personal opinion, but a variety of technical issues, as presented and presumed by the Indymedia writer in the story cited, could surface until all the bugs are worked out of the product. However, the real risk in my mind comes later--when software programmers could work (in utter seclusion) to stack the deck against one political side or the other.

You think I'm wrong here? How would you and I know that the software in a centralized voting system (like what we're already use to) is wrong just by looking at the voting booth? The bottom line, decentralized voting makes it much, much more difficult for anyone to manipulate an election on a widespread basis. Centralized voting makes it easier and much more convenient. Why take a chance? The mechanical voting booth, under the direct control of numerous local election boards, is about the only way I know of to keep the vote honest. Why fix a system that is more right than it is broken?

P.S. So now you know what happened if GKO should suddenly disappear from the Internet!

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Allan B. Colombo

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